Sunday, 24 November 2013

Machine Knitted Felt - Landscape/Seascape Workshop (Part 2)

Sometimes when I give a workshop there will be someone who takes the theme and techniques of the workshop but constructs differently or adds something totally different.  I am quite happy about this because usually the person is confident enough to 'do their own thing' and the end result is usually stunning.  The two ladies who produced these two pictures had to leave early for family reasons but they also 'did their own thing' and as I know them well I know the end results will be great.  The pictures are both still work in progress and will have embroidery added.
The seascape has been needle felted using mostly unusual knitting wools.  The pebbles in the foreground are made from a very textured knitting wool which has been specifically designed for making a scarf but in the picture they really do look like pebbles.  Care has been taken when selecting the yarn to only use portions of the yarn that indicate light and shade.  A thick shiny yarn was used for the horizon but it was far too bright, no problem, paint it with a darker colour fabric paint, problem solved!

This landscape is very large and will be very exciting when finished.  Part of the hill (top left) is made from plastic netting, the sort vegetables come in and the foreground (bottom left and centre) is soft hand dyed netting.  Hand dyed felt (bottom centre and right) has been used for the foreground and the light and shade of the hand dyeing has been used to great effect.
When you attend a workshop you never seem to have the right fabric or right colour thread and during this workshop there was a great deal of 'have some of mine'.  Great pictures, well done ladies!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Machine Knitted Felt - Landscape/Seascape Workshop (Part 1)

On Tuesday I gave the Machine Knitted Felt Landscape/Seascape workshop to West Country Embroiderers, Torbay branch, which is the group that I attend.  They are a great bunch of ladies and there was a great deal of laughter.
The images shown are all work in progress and still have a lot of embroidery and embellishment to be added.  Two of the ladies had previously been on a wet felting workshop and had brought in some of the felt which they had made.  They very bravely cut it, then added Machine Knitted Felt to make their seascapes (Images 1 and 2) and finally started to add embroidery and embellishments. 

 Another lady brought in some hand knitting to incorporate into her seascape (Image 2).
It is amazing how the landscapes and seascapes can vary so much when the ladies have received the same information but have used different textiles in so many different ways.  It is always a joy to see how pictures are transformed over the day from a huge pile of fabrics on the desk to a fantastic piece of art.  At our Christmas party I will see the end results, I cannot wait!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Machine Knitted Felt - Bag Workshop

On Saturday I gave a workshop at Ivybridge, Devon on how to make bags with Machine Knitted Felt applique.  It was a very jolly day with numerous cups of tea and Lemon Drizzle Cake in the morning and Dorset Apple Cake in the afternoon!  The ladies worked very hard and were pleased with their creations but at the moment they are still work in progress and will have hand embroidery and embellishments added.

The felt used for the two heart needlecases was originally a jumper purchased from a charity shop and then put in the washing machine and felted.  The lady who made the camel coloured bag in the front/centre used antique lace, velvet and a button which originally belonged to her Grandmother.  The bag centre/left used floral fabric from which flowers were cut and appliqued and the remaining fabric will be used as a lining.
A great day was had by all and a big thank you to the ladies for their hospitality.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Machine Knitted Felt - Bag with Leaves

The next week is going to be hectic preparing for and giving two different workshops and attending a small show.  The first workshop is lots of different shape and size bags with Machine Knitted Felt applique.  The images show one of the sample bags made from 100% cotton.  The cotton is purchased from my local patchwork shop as they have a huge range of plain coloured fabric, just right for bags as the fabric is firm.  The leaves are made from Machine Knitted Felt, plain and hand dyed and also 30% wool, 70% viscose felt which is also hand dyed.  The leaves could easily be made with hand made wet felt or needlefelt.  The hand stitching is Stem Stitch and French Knots.  The wonderfully textured squiggly stitch in the middle is Detached Buttonhole Stitch which is sometimes called Drizzle Stitch.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Merino Wool Tops - Cords (Part 2)

I hope some of you have made the cords described in Part 1.  They are great fun to make and extremely versatile for both felters and embroiderers.
Couching down the cords in the image above.
Top left - couching the cord with straight stitches using Perle 5 Blackcurrant.  This is suitable for cords that are multi coloured or on a plain coloured cord with contrasting thread to make the cords more visible.
Bottom left - couching the cord with diagonal stitches.  This makes the cord a little more interesting.
Top right - couching the cord with cross stitch using Perle 5 Sunflower.  This could be used as a feature.
Bottom right (top two stitches) - couching the cord with three stitches close together.
Bottom right (bottom two stitches) - couching the cord with three stitches close together, as above, and then wrap the thread around the three stitches.  This adds texture and interest.
The centre of the flower uses a narrow cord which is not quite firm and this allows the cord to be wound into a spiralling circle.  It is attached using tiny stitches on the inner and outer edge of the cord.  I think this would look great on the front of a bag.  The centre of the flower and stalk have a spiral effect by using 4 colours (see Part 1).
Cords make great legs!  Cords can also be used for arms, flowers, leaves, stalks, the list is endless.  Try couching using a thinner thread and adding small beads.